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The Happy Mind

Book Review of: The Happy Mind

A Simple Guide to Living a Happier Life Starting Today

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Review of The Happy Mind, by Author (Softcover, 2019)

(You can print this review in landscape mode, if you want a hardcopy)


Did you know that 75% of Americans hate (not merely dislike) their jobs? The same figure holds in Europe. So the vast majority of people spend their workdays in a negative funk of unhappiness. I have a hard job, but I love it because I choose to love it. My work day is not dreary, with clock-watching and work avoidance behavior. It's invigorating, and I awake each day eager to get to it.

In addition to the "I hate my job" issue, the vast majority of people set themselves up for misery through poor choices in spending, material acquisition, diet, treatment of friends and family, how they spend their leisure time, what they read, what they listen to, and so on.

This book helps the reader understand those (and other) choices and the better options to them, paving the way to a happy life. Happiness isn't something that is given to you, it's something you create. The trick is you have to understand how to bring happiness about and how to avoid undermining it (both of which this book nicely covers).

At only about 100 pages, and many of them only half-filled, this book looks like a lightweight. But don't let looks deceive you. The amount of wisdom packed into these pages is astounding. The authors write in a clear, accessible style devoid of filler. Over my nearly six decades, I have read dozens of books on happiness, fulfillment, life planning, and related topics. I've also experienced life, with its many challenges. And I've chosen to be happy rather than miserable.

The authors designed the book to be used on a regular basis. No drinking from a fire hose, here. That's why the text is lean and the individual pages are often not full. Once the idea is expressed, no need to dilute it with over-elaboration.

This book consists of five chapters:

  1. The Search for Happiness. If you look for happiness in the wrong places, you will never find it. The authors help the reader understand where to look.
  2. Happiness is.... If you chase something you mistakenly believe is happiness, you will not find happiness. You will find this other thing you are chasing. For example, consider a person whose home is cluttered with all kinds of stuff. That's a lot of money tied up, and this person is no closer to happiness than when the clutter first began to accumulate. If you want to be happy, you must think about what happiness actually is. The guidance here is exceptional.
  3. The Origin of Unhappiness. Think of your happiness as a bank account, with deposits and withdrawals. Certain choices and behaviors not only draw your account to zero, they trigger an instant high-rate loan! What I have found in my lifetime is these choices and behaviors "crowd out" the positive ones and take on a life of their own. An example I like to use is that if you start thinking every little setback is evidence the universe is out to get you, then you start seeing setbacks everywhere. Don't accentuate what's wrong or accept it as your fate, look for what you can do to make things better.
  4. Practical Guidelines. What you find here is a series of pages, each with a practical principle you can follow. I believe the intent of the authors is that the reader work one page at a time, incorporating the technique into his or her life and then going on to the next one. There is no way to simply read these and suddenly have a happiness-creating mojo. Achieving happiness is a process, one that takes time and consistency.
  5. A Few Last Words. This is only a couple of pages, and it's pretty much a collection of advice snippets such as "Happiness is the art of prevention. Say no when you should." But my favorite is "You are the best person to determine your own destiny." I believe grasping that concept is that the foundation of leading a happy life.

Links provided by the publisher:

The book:

Publisher's site:

Kevin Horsley’s official site:

Kevin Horsley’s Twitter:


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